9 Mistakes People Make When Selecting Oil & Gas Software
Earlier I wrote 10 steps for choosing your oil and gas software. On a spin of that, I’d like to tell you nine mistakes to avoid when choosing what oil and gas software you need for your company.
1. They didn’t figure out beforehand what they wanted the software to do. This seems like a no-brainer mistake that you wouldn’t dream of doing yourself. Unfortunately, all too many companies make this mistake by not creating a specific list of what they want/need the software to do. It’s easy to get lured into the marketing hype of a product because it appears to easily solve the problem that is clearly causing you such grief. But buying a product without making sure it actually fits your business can end up causing you more headache than necessary.
2. They purchase a product based on price and not based on needs.You don’t need to tell me today how important cost is in the business equation today. I, too, read the news and understand how bleak the economy can appear. But in reality, the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best solution. Understanding your budget is an important part of the software-buying process. But being able to evaluate a product that can boost your bottom line without bankrupting you is equally important. Make sure that you don’t purchase solely because it’s the lowest or even highest price. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth for what you need the product to do. Investments pay off in the future if they’re made wisely.
3. They didn’t get any one else’s opinion on the software. Of course software vendors are always going to think and tell you they are the best product available. That doesn’t mean you should jump in head first and purchase. Find out what other clients have to say about the staff, product and service. Get references from the company, read testimonials from real clients and talk to people in the industry to see what they think and have heard as well.
4. They don’t see (physically) how the software can work for their business. It’s important that you can visualize using the software in your office before making your decision. View the software with a trained representative, so you can see firsthand how the software works. You want to work with real person so you can ask questions and have them demonstrate scenarios that you’ll need on a day-to-day basis. Viewing a demonstration on your own time, in your office alone, will invariably lead to frustration and confusion without first having knowledge of how the software works.
5. They have too many people involved in the selection process. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘Less is more,’ which is precisely the point with this common mistake. Companies often want to make sure everyone possible can be involved in choosing the best product. Too many people involved can end up causing the group to divide, and stall the decision between several products. Instead, select a smaller, targeted group of people from your company with a array of job duties who can come to a consensus.
6. They don’t let the software company talk with their employees.Perhaps it’s because you don’t want to give any company the upper hand in this evaluation process, or maybe you just don’t want them mingling with your company, either way, companies often keep software companies at an arm’s length away – which can really hurt the decision process.
Choosing a software vendor – like an oil and gas accounting software vendor, in our case, is comparable to getting married. You’re likely to be together for an extended amount of time for better or worse, so you want to build a relationship with them first, before jumping headlong into a commitment. Let the software company ask you questions and get an idea of how your business runs. This will help them understand how to help you better, get to know how they work as a company and show any red flags beforehand if something can’t be addressed the way you need it to, or if you don’t get along.
7. They only focus on the basic principles of the software. Don’t spend all your time evaluating standard features such as how the accounting works, how owners, wells and leases are handled, etc. You should be able to assume that any reasonable system can handle the standard functions of oil and gas accounting and distribution if that is what the foundation is built upon. Instead, focus on the processes that you will need to differentiate your business and things specific to how you operate. Find out how the software would solve that problem, or task, etc.
8. They forget to consider how things will work as their business grows and expands. The software product you’re deciding on might look nice and pretty at this moment, but you also want a product that is flexible and can grow with you and handle your needs. Make sure the product won’t just grow in the future – but is one that can already handle needs and companies as large as you hope to become one day.
9. Set a definite timeline for when you want to select new software.By not making the software evaluation process a formal affair, too much time ends up being wasted by not having a deadline set for when you want to make a decision. With a goal to work towards and an end in sight, you can save time money and avoid dissatisfaction, confusion and making a hasty decision that you’ll regret, whether you choose to purchase the product or not.